I brought a souvenir from Florida, a fresh new chip in the windshield resulting from a rock I caught shortly after leaving Daytona Beach.
I think this is something anyone who drives their Miata or any car for that matter on a Road Trip should almost expect to happen. Other than getting a flat tire or being involved in a fender bender catching debris with the windshield is likely and very possible. Though where it happened caught me by surprise. I talked about this issue in my Miata Fiata Radio road trip episode, saying that catching a rock to the windshield in the Northeast of the US is entirely likely, I would expect it. But catching a rock to the windshield in Florida where the roads are nice, pot holes are less likely due to weather, it was a surprise. Nevertheless the chip was not the end of the world. It didn’t crack the windshield, it just put a little dent causing the glass to chip and turning glass into little sandlike material that was clearly visible when I pulled over to inspect the damage.
Since this happened more than 1,000 miles from home I wasn’t able to fix it right away. Likewise when I arrived home the weather was first freezing and then rainy for a few days and it took me a little while to receive the repair kit I ordered online. But once the temps started climbing upwards of 50F and a little bit of sun came out, I went and tackled this problem. The end result was pretty good, and I am very much satisfied with this repair.
Instead of following instructions in the little card included with the kit I watched a few YouTube videos to see how to do this correctly. I have done a chip repair a few years ago on my dad’s Grand Caravan minivan which caught a big chip in the windshield the day we bought it at an auction in Pennsylvania. That repair was a bit of a disaster, and the chip is still visible but has not spread. The most useful how-to video was that of Chris Fix from NJ who had a very good DIY video on his Mazda pick up truck. I was very happy to see the bubbles form in the syringe and then disappear when I pushed the air in. That was great. I left it on for 20 minutes which is longer than what Chris said in his video. And then when I scraped things off I noticed the little imperfection in the glass still visible, so I put another layer of resin over it for another hour. It was a cool 50F day with overcast skies, so the two hours of curing I think were absolutely necessary. Hopefully the imperfection doesn’t cause streaks when the wipers are on in rainy weather.